Painting Garage Interiors
Converting a Garage into a Playroom
Garage Door Remotes
I am planning on painting the inside of our garage soon. The walls are unpainted drywall and poured concrete. We are debating which type of paint we should use. I think we can use interior wall paint, but my husband thinks he should use exterior paint. What's your opinion?
BB from Fredericksburg, VA
Though your garage may be protected from direct contact with "the elements," it is not protected from the some of their effects, so regular interior wall paint is out! Thus, I vote for using exterior latex paint for a few reasons (with a caveat at the end).
- Exterior paints are also designed to accommodate wider temperature ranges than interior paints. Our homes are mini-ecosystems and most of the stuff in them (from paints to building materials to even appliances) is designed to work optimally in a narrow temperature range. It's the same temperature range we are optimally designed to work in!
- Exterior paints are heavier and cover surfaces better than most interior paints. Even over unpainted drywall, most exterior paints can stick just fine without a primer! (Since the manufacturers don't consider drywall an exterior product, they don't even mention it in their instructions! Figures, right?) Of course, the surface should be dust and mildew-free.
- Exterior paints are more mildew-proof than interior paints, aside from specialty kitchen/bath paints. If the walls are mildewed already, they may need a little cleaning with a bleach solution prior to painting. This is a messy proposition on unpainted drywall because the joint compound can become mushy. I suggest brushing or vacuuming the dust off the walls while they are dry. Then use a hand or garden sprayer to apply a 50% bleach, 50% hot water mix onto the walls, let it dry thoroughly and then paint.
Regarding the concrete portion of your walls, most exterior latex paints will cover clean, dry masonry without any need for a primer.
If you don't want the defects in your walls showing, use a flat paint. Though low luster and glossy paints are more washable, every little blemish will stick out like my sore thumb!
Oh yes, my caveat. Kitchen/bathroom paints share many of the characteristics of good exterior paints. They're washable, mildew resistant and just plain tough! You can consider them as an acceptable alternative to exterior latex, but as of today, there are no truly "flat" kitchen/bath paints. They all have a sheen that might be undesirable for garage walls. They also tend to be quite a bit more expensive!
Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here naturalhandyman.com/aitikia. For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links naturalhandyman.com. If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page naturalhandyman.com/friends.
The Natural Handyman Site Directory
- Home Repair Articles naturalhandyman.com/iip
- Home Repair Links Library naturalhandyman.com/linkslibrary
- NH's Bookshop naturalhandyman.com/bookshop
- Find a handyman at naturalhandyman.com/network
- Win unique home repair gifts and prizes at naturalhandyman.com/contest. Please read the important copyright and disclaimer information is located at naturalhandyman.com/copyright
Also in Home
- Financial benefits to living in a mobile or manufactured home
- Repurposing an entertainment center
- How to renew your home's doors
- 10 things you don't want to get caught doing in your closet
- Planning your summer garden
- The natural feeding of roses
- Removing mold from your walls
- 6 reasons you shouldn't overimprove your home
- 5 simple and affordable luxuries for your home
- 7 green ways to save money on laundry
- 6 things to do before you buy a home
- 6 ways to save on home heating
- 7 ghastly critters that will eat your house
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Mortgage refinance break-even calculator
- How much money can I borrow for a mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?